|Anchor Books (Random House)|
"The circus arrives without warning."
And so begins the incredible journey of the Night Circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, with its amazing performances, its astonishing tents, and its mysterious secrets.
Begun with Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair, a pair of magicians trained expressly for the purpose of pitting their talents against one another, the Night Circus weaves a complicated web of stories and lives, involving both patrons and performers alike - like young Bailey, who falls in love with the circus, and Poppet and Widget, twins who find their entire lives wrapped up the striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêves.
Erin Morgenstern's novel is addictive, like her circus creations. Perhaps because the author is also an artist, her novel has a level of visual precision and creative acuity that is, in a word, extraordinary. The Night Circus is rich with detail and crafted with uncanny precision, populated with beautiful scenery, breath-taking adventures, and endearing characters.
As the stories of Celia and Marco - and Bailey, Poppet and Widget - unfold, it's fascinating to see how Le Cirque des Rêves grows and changes to fit them. I especially love the idea of the circus being a battle-ground, a test to see which magician is strongest: Celia with her raw, untamable talent, or Marco with his clever enchantments and powerful spell-binding.
I love the adventure and the romance, the danger and the daring and the drama. In general, I love the entire concept of the circus. It's fascinating and beautiful with its black-and-white tents, its magical characters and creations that seem to be pulled directly from a dream.
Honestly, I devoured this book. On the one hand, I wanted to find out when and where all the puzzle pieces would fall into place; on the other hand, I also wanted to know what would happen to Marco and Celia. Since one or both magicians always succumbed - i.e. died - during a competition, I was justifiably worried for Celia and Marco. I mean, I love them both: What would happen to them? Would they die? Would Celia survive? Would Marco?
How does it end?
I can't really say anything more without completely giving away the conclusion, but I will say that I was left with a warring sense of satisfaction and displeasure. Equal parts romantic and tragic, The Night Circus leaves you with a sense of fulfillment - and an inexplicable desire that things had turned out differently.
The Night Circus can occasionally border on violent. Celia and Marco endure terrible trials in their childhood training and face even worse turmoil as adults, which makes some aspects of their story difficult to stomach. Not withstanding the terrible tragedy that also strikes the unlikely circus family very early in their career.